Out of his West Bloomfield office, Mark Arduino manages his own employees and helps other entrepreneurs realize their dreams of owning a business.
Arduino said he left a 27-year career in the automotive business to work with Anago Cleaning Systems, a commercial cleaning franchise.
“I decided I wanted to go out of my own,” he said. “I started to look at franchises, because there was a prescribed methodology.”
He said he was attracted to Anago, but had one hurdle to cross. “I had to get out of my mind that it was cleaning,” he said. “It was the business model, with different revenue streams, that I thought was very good from a business perspective.”
As a Master Franchisee, Arduino also sells franchises, provides his franchisees with work and does extra, one-time jobs for current clients. One of his newest franchisees, Ralph Cooper of Macomb, did a walk through last week of his first client’s building.
A Navy veteran, Cooper still has a full-time job, but hopes to eventually be out on his own. He was looking for a business opportunity and learned about Anago by talking with the man who cleans the building where he works.
“I thought about it and looked it over, and I figured I could do it, because I had done this kind of work daily for four years, it was part of what I did in the military,” Cooper said.
He said he has been inspired by the mentorship that Arduino provides; in turn, Arduino says he is mentored by other master franchisees around the country. As a master franchisee, his part is to act as the “front office” for the franchisees he mentors, handling phone calls, billing and collectibles, while the business owners focus on the cleaning work, largely done after 5 pm
“The Anago model is that franchisees are in business for themselves, but not by themselves,” he said. “I think that’s what helps us be strong.”
Anago Cleaning Systems at the end of the first quarter of 2013 enjoyed its highest sales growth quarter in company history and has more than 2,400 franchisees across the country. Arduino said the company particularly reaches out to veterans like Cooper.
“We want guys like Ray to be successful,” he said. “We want Ray to grow as big as he wants to grow.”
And how big is that?
“Right now, my goal is at least to accomplish what my mentor has accomplished,” Cooper said.